Six Days After ...... How ordinary Pakistanis feel? 

by Farooq Tariq 18-09-2020

Back      Main     



I am writing this article from Toba Tek Singh, my home town, 300 kilometers away from Lahore, situated in the central Punjab. It is mainly a peasant dominated area. No big feudal and main income of this area comes from the crops like cotton, wheat, sugarcane and maize, etc. In the Seventies, It was once a hub of peasant movement led by the Stalinist Left. On 23rd march 1970, over 500,000 attended a peasant conference in the town. 

Now the town is in the grip of religious fundamentalists. On the main center of the town, we see the paintings of the myrters (those youth who have been killed during the "holy" war of Kashmir during the last few years). Many religious madrasas (schools) can be found at every street corner. 

The religious fundamentalist have not yet taken over the town by vote, as Pakistan Peoples party and Muslim League, the two main bourgeoisie parties still have the majority. But the street power is in the hand of the religious fundamentalist. Many working class youth have been recruited during the past years by the Jihadi (holy war) organisation to fight in Afghanistan and Kashmir. The youth finding no possibility of jobs, can at least find the basic ness cities at the religious schools and in the training camps. 

I was told by Javaid Hashmi, the central president of Muslim League, in an informal chat, during the Alliance for Restoration of Democracy meeting on 15th september that he is been invited many times during the month to visit 
those families who sons have become myrters (Killed during the "holy" war) in Kashmir. Hashmi told me that when he arrives at a certain house, he is been asked not to condole but to congratulate the family for this great achievement. Then the sweets are brought to be taken as a gesture of the happiness of the family. So does the whole village from where these youth normally comes. Javed Hashmii comes from Multan, a city around 100 kilometer from my home town Toba Tek Singh. It is same sad story of most of the central and Southern Punjab areas from where the bulk of the recruits come for these religious organisations. 

I was in Lahore for four days after the Tuesday terrorist attack on American cities. At Lahore, the mood among many workers and ordinary citizens were of joy and happiness that the Americans have been taught the lessons at last. 
But there was also a sympathy for those been killed in the terrorist attack. It was not a mood of fanaticism of all out support for the religious fundamentalist. The ARD two days meeting on 14,15 September, condemned the attacks but also a warning to Americans that they should not attack the innocent citizens of Afghanistan. The All Parties Conference organised by the Jamaat-i-Islami on 16th September, which Labour party pakistan and Peoples Party boycotted gave a more threatening warning to Americans for any possible attack. 

But at Toba Tek Singh, the mood was of fanaticism. As I arrived here after six hours of driving from Lahore to see my aging father, I was bombarded with questions by him. A trader all his life, now fighting with the banks to give back the loans he has once taken in the hope that the agriculture income will be better but disappointed al the time. All his initiatives to enhance his ever decreasing income went no where. All his life, he remained loyal to Muslim League, a conservative bourgeoisie party. 

When I condemned the attacks and also told what could happen to the Talban government in future, and that the act has endangered the lives of the Muslims across the glob, he was untouched and told me that you could be the only one talking this in the town. No one would support you here, he told me. He was of the view that Talban will teach another historic lessons to the Americans that the military regime in Pakistan have a little time left in power as they are playing at the hands of the American. He said I am very happy what has happened in America. IMF and World Bank has destroyed my life and I am in the grip of the banks as my whole agric business has been destroyed by these institutions. He told that I can not afford to pay the price of the pesticides as the state subsidies are gone and his orange garden has been ruined by that. He told me that the whole town is happy about the incidents. 

I spoke to Mamma ( his real name is Mohammed Sadiq but he is know as mumma). He is a peasant working at the land on monthly wages. Mumma told me that some one at last has taught a lesson to the most powerful nations on the earth. How this could happen? I asked him, He told me that it is the work of God, no one can intervene. 

Today, on 17th September, I went to my village Chack Number 291, Lahorianwala, where I was born, I spoke to one of my cousin Afzal. He has small shop on the main road selling the little grocery items he has and buying from the village women their share of the crops, they will get after the whole day of work. The village women are not paid in cash but some of the cotton for example they will pick during the whole day of work. They will bring this to the shops like Afzal, get some grocery and the remaining in cash. Afzal told me that There is no way Talban will be defeated by the Americans. How can they defeat the Talban when they can not defend their own cities? he asked. It is great what has happened. He also told me that many will take out demonstrations if American will attack Pakistan or Afghanistan. "There is a great haterdnesss against the military capitulation at the hands of Americans among us" he told. 

There were few more sitting there and had the same feelings as Afzal. 
Six days after the Tuesday attacks on American cities, it seems that generally many are happy and feel the pride that at last some one has done the job, they should be doing. It shows an utmost haterdness against the American Imperialism among the general masses. But the mood is turning in favor of the fundamentalists. Once the attack by the Americans starts here, the military regime will face an extra ordinary situation of demonstrations and rallies against the attacks led by the religious fundamentalist. 

One villager told me that the incident of America is like this that if a peasant gets up in a village and fight against the feudal lord with no weapons. No one in the village ever thought of fighting against the feudal before. Then this peasant win the fight, the whole village peasants will be very happy. So is America, a big feudal lord of the world who have lost the fight at the hands of some one without any resources, we must celebrate. Whenever I raised the issue of innocent American loosing the lives, the normal reaction was, yes we sympathies, but what about those millions of Palestinians, Sudanese, Vietnamese and others who have lost the lives at their hand. Who support Israel? is another questions raised immediately by every one. 

It is very clear we the progressive forces are among very few who have to condemn terrorism, individual or state level.



LPP (For a democratic socialist Pakistan)

For further inquiry please contact at


Party Leadership

Magazine Campaigns Interviews Articles Contacts Links Photograph